One thing that stands out for me in this weeks reading was the area of virtual reality. As someone who spends way too much time on games such as Doom and Myst, I can attest to the attractiveness of virtual reality and associated media.
Two things we have to keep in mind are that one, I believe virtual reality has hit a wall in terms of growth and development. I am not sure if it is a technology barrier or a lack of interest, but nonetheless, we have seen less of a presence in new media. Two, we are unable to climb out of the “uncanny valley”.
Uncanny valley, first described by Masahiro Mori says that as artificially created human representation approaches 100% likeness, humans are repelled from them. It is interesting to see that some of the popular media such as droids from Star Wars and Cylons from Battlestar Galactica all are far from looking 100% human. On the other hand, movies such as Final Fantasy and Beowulf really look “fake”.
I’m not sure how or if it is even possible to provide total virtual immersion. 3D movies and 3D bluray is just one small step towards that direction but maybe it would take something like Matrix’s direct cerebral cortex connection to truly experience virtual reality.